Women First; Men Third at MEC Relay Swim Meet

Women First; Men Third at MEC Relay Swim Meet

WHEELING -- West Virginia Wesleyan's women claimed victory Saturday, swimming to the title while the men took third in the third annual MEC Relays at the Wheeling Jesuit pool. 

Wesleyan's women won five of the nine events in the relay-style format.

The Lady Bobcats tallied a total of 106 points, outdistancing the teams from Urbana and host Wheeling Jesuit who each had 72.

Fairmont State was fourth with 60 points while Notre Dame finished fifth with 30.

This event is designed as a mock league meet without the individual events. All five of the current MEC members that sponsor swimming participate.

"This was a big win for our women," head coach April Gitzen said. "They had the goal of beating Wheeling Jesuit again, and our team really stepped up."

Wesleyan's first win was the 3x100 backstroke, which won with the combination of Marylee Gowdy, Ashton Cole, and Kylee Savage in 3:14.76.

They were followed shortly with the 800-free relay team of Kimmy Culver, Camilla Brizzi, Chelsea Jesso and Cole taking victory in 8:29.43.

Wesleyan sealed the win by taking three consecutive races late in the meet; the 400-medley relay (Savage, Justine Bledsoe, Culver, and Brizzi) in 4:17.88, the 200-free relay (Gowdy, Jesso, Bledsoe, and Brizzi) in 1:44.71, and the 400-meeldey individual relay (Theresa Burgess, Lea Kryvenchuk, Savage, and Bledsoe) in 4:30.48.

In the other four races, the Lady Bobcats snared a pair of seconds places and two thirds.

"We have a lot of young swimmers who are contributing," Gitzen said. "I was proud of the attitude today. We had a lot of athletes supporting each other throughout the day, plus we had our volleyball team stop by and cheer for us as well. It was a good atmosphere and a good effort from us as a team."

On the men's side, the Bobcats settled into the third position with 68 points, well ahead of fourth place Urbana (48) and fifth place Notre Dame (42).

Fairmont State was directly ahead of Wesleyan with 92 points, while the host WJU squad won the relay-style event with 110 points.

Like the women, the meet featured the five Mountain East Conference schools that sponsor the sport.

"Our men swam well...this about where I thought we would be," Gitzen said. "We have a young team on the men's side and I am happy with how they are coming along."

Wesleyan did not win an event on the men's side, but produced two runner-up relay finishes.

This included the 3x100 fly team of Kiernan McCarthy, Brennan Nettleton, and Julian Morassi (2:57.80), and the 400-medley relay team of Davaughn Woodruff, Dominik Schopper, Logan Knoyer and Morassi (3:46.13).

Wesleyan also had four different relay teams place in the middle third position in the nine-event meet.

Both teams will return to action on Friday, Oct. 28 in a tri-meet at Alderson-Broaddus with Malone.

The meet will begin 6 p.m.